Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Creation Care

One of our members spoke on Sunday morning, offering an invitation to the last meeting before a decision on the incinerator proposed for our region. This facility, costing more than 250 million dollars, will rise on the shore of Lake Ontario and burn garbage from Durham and York. In sounds like a solution for the challenge of finding a home for our waste, but it has set off alarm bells for area physicians and environmentalists.

Our incredibly busy 401 highway will get busier still, as trucks come and go relentlessly. The poor quality of our air, which has already created an alarmingly high rate of asthma and other respiratory problems, will get worse. And we will still be left with toxic ash which will be exported to some other municipality, counteracting the goal of dealing with our garbage "at home."

When Christians speak of caring for creation what immediately comes to mind is preserving forests or protecting species. Of course humans are a species and while what we humans do with our garbage may not sound like creation care, it is incredibly "down to earth" and the responsiblity of concerned people of faith.

I'm often puzzled as to why more people don't become engaged with issues such as these, because our health and quality of life depend on being informed and responsive to the issues. I certainly admire the members of St. Paul's who have worked so hard over the past couple of years to make sure others had the opportunity to learn more.
Do you find it overwhelming when these issues are raised? Do you feel they are of concern for Christians and part of our responsibility to respond?


IanD said...

I think most members of the community are educated on the issue of the incinerator, but feel helpless to do anything in terms of stopping it.

I join you in being puzzled by how careless we've become about health issues and our health in general. I just can't wrap my head around how much of what we do to ourselves in adverse ways really is preventable and self-induced.

johnny said...

I applaud everyone who has voiced their opinion on this issue. Too many people just live their lives without seeing the big picture - the effects of their actions on Mother Earth.

Having experienced so much in Vancouver over the past four weeks, there is one thing that I found the most uplifting - and it might surprise you.

Yes, there was enthusiasm about the Games and celebrations(mostly peaceful) were aplenty. But what I liked the most was the number of "causes" that people were reminding the world needed attention.

Obviously with so much media from all over the world, there were people intent on getting their issues some air time. People were unfurling banners on bridges, setting up "tent city" for awarenesss of the homeless situation in Vancouver, and many other examples of demonstrating their freedom of speech and expression.

What I appreciated was the energy and spirit that these people brought. The vast majority were not infringing on others' rights and were not trying to cause trouble. I respected them immensely...even if I did not agree with their cause(although mostly I did).

I drove past "tent city" daily and it made me reflect on how such a wealthy city like Vancouver can have such a problematic area like East Hastings. Bravo to those who camped out there in the rain to demonstrate that very point!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ian. I think people do worry about the issues around the incinerator, but feel helpless to do anything about it. I myself wonder how I will fair. As it is I spend summers indoors, and experience summer almost entirely through a window pane. By the end of summer I am so worn out from lack of air that I count the seconds until fall air sets me free again. I love the outdoors. I get out there and walk every winter day because I know once spring arrives I will be forcedback inside. I really really wish the incinerator could just go away. It puzzles me too how careless we have become.

Laura said...

Yes I do think it is part of living our faith, and yes, I do feel overwhelmed when issues like the incinerator become "urgent". I am grateful to those with expertise in the field who can simplify what we need to know. In fairness though their are 100's of faithful concerns from hunger, to healthcare to the environment to... that I would like to be engaged in, and try in small, personal ways to support. Sometimes it's time, sometimes it's natural abilities and apptitudes that keep me away, and it's never without guilt, but the only peace I have come to is the hope that we all have 24 hours each day but we all have different strengths and if we all use them wisely that the important issues get attention , leaderhip and action.

lionlamb said...

Thanks for these thoughtful responses. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the issues, whether local or global. I figure the key is to accept responsibility without becoming paralyzed by the scope and complexity.

There were about 15 people from St. Paul's at last night's meeting. Although I have attended a number of rallies and information nights it was good to have some of the facts reinforced. Please let our local councillors know how you feel on this issue.